Guidance on the arrangements for relief for site restoration work under parts 2 and 3 of the Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Act 2017 (LDTA).
LDTA/4000 Reliefs: site restoration
This is an overview of the arrangements for relief for site restoration work under part 2 and 3 of Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Act 2017 (LDTA).
The approach under LDT differs from other parts of the UK. As you, the landfill site operator (LSO), must obtain our approval for site restoration work before claiming relief in your tax return.
This approach aims to provide certainty and clarity to you and us to enable compliance and safeguard arrangements from abuse.
Reliefs are only available for disposals at authorised landfill sites.
LDTA/4110 Application for site restoration relief
Under section 8, Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Act 2017 (LDTA), the use of any material for site restoration work is to be treated as a taxable disposal.
LDT is due on the use of all material in site restoration regardless of whether the material was:
- bought for the purpose
- otherwise obtained
If certain criteria are met, you may claim relief for the use of material in site restoration work.
Work must fall within the definition of site restoration. This is work carried out at an authorised landfill site (or part of it) to restore the area to an alternative use.
On a hazardous or non-hazardous landfill site, where engineered capping is generally required for environmental reasons, site restoration work can only be work that takes place above the cap.
Inert landfill sites are generally not required to have an engineered cap for environmental reasons. But following amendments to legislation on 19 July 2019, they may still be able to show that they’re carrying out site restoration work.
If you only want to store material for future site restoration, you’ll need to apply for a non-disposal area (NDA) as set out in LDTA/2030.
The relief must be claimed in a tax return and is only available where the disposal to which it relates either consists of entirely:
- qualifying material, or
It’s not available for qualifying mixtures of materials, and forms part of restoration work, which we’ve approved.
We consider top-soil to include manufactured top-soil containing organic material where it’s required to complete the site restoration, as specified in the environmental permit or planning permission to support the planting of grass, plants, shrubs or trees.
To obtain site restoration relief on top-soil we expect you to:
- fully comply with the requirements of the relevant environmental permit, and
- meet recognised industry standards; such as:
- BS 3882:2015 Specification for top-soil, and/or
- PAS 100 Specification for composted materials
We’d expect top-soil, including manufactured top-soil, whether manufactured on or off site, or soil conditioners which may be applied, to comply with standards as required by the permit and industry standards as above.
You must apply in writing and obtain our approval for restoration work. The application must be made before the restoration work begins. We cannot authorise restoration work that started before the application was submitted.
After the application has been made, you do not need to wait for our approval before starting the work.
We understand you may want to take advantage of good weather conditions or the availability of suitable material. However, starting work before our approval is given is at your own risk. We cannot guarantee approval of the application.
Evidence required to support the application
You must provide us with:
- environmental permit number or planning permission reference number for the site
- the source of the qualifying material
- evidence of how the qualifying material satisfies required standards
- details of any material already in place
- CQA Plans and/or Specifications
- Evidence of Natural Resources Wales approval of CQA Plans and/or Specifications plan
- the weight (tonnes) of restoration material required
- an up to date site map showing the next phase/area/cell to be restored
- the surface area of the phase being restored (m2)
- the anticipated start and finish dates for either: the full site restoration or the partial site restoration (phase/cell number) as per the approved CQA Plan
- the method of calculation of the tonnage, such as the volume, volume to mass conversion factors and shrinkage or how bulking factors have been derived
- the minimum depth required
- evidence explaining how these have been used in the calculation
We must be satisfied and will only approve the necessary amount of material required to comply with a condition of the permit or permission relating to the site. It’s only this material that will benefit from the relief.
Landfill restoration does not include raising levels to meet an approved landform under planning control. You must normally achieve contouring, and drainage falls during the disposal operation. This is required by the pre or post-settlement contour plan in your landfill permit.
The use of excess material will be subject to tax.
LDTA/4120 WRA requests for further information
Where an application for site restoration work is received, we may issue a written notice requesting further information from you to decide on the application.
We’ll issue a written notice to you within 30 days beginning on the day the application is received. This will:
- tell you the date when the information must be provided
- be at least 30 days beginning with the day on which the notice is issued
We may both agree to extend these time periods.
LDTA/4130 WRA decision
We must issue a written notice of our decision to you within 30 days beginning with:
- the day we receive the application, or
- if we have requested further information:
- the day on which we receive the information, or
- the day on which the period for providing the information ends
We may both agree to extend these time periods.
WRA decision not made within agreed time periods
If we do not issue a written notice of our decision within these time periods, then you should treat this as having approved the carrying out of the restoration work as detailed in the application. From the time the application was made until the completion date.
If you’re unhappy with our decision, you can:
You need to do this within 30 days from the date we issue our tax decision letter.
If you request a review of our decision, you cannot appeal to the tribunal until our review has completed.
LDTA/4140 WRA approval
We must issue a notice to you setting out our decision and details of the approval.
The approval may relate to:
- all or part of the work described in the site restoration application
- work carried out before or after the approval is given (or both)
It may be unconditional or subject to conditions, for example, a condition might require the landfill site operator to provide an update report to us about carrying out the work.
LDTA/4150 Variation of approval
Landfill Site Operator (LSO) request
Where a site restoration approval is in place you may apply in writing to us to vary the approval. You must provide the reasons for the variation request and any evidence to support it.
If we require further information for the purpose of deciding whether, or on what terms to vary the approval then the time periods are set out in LDTA/4120. We must issue a notice to you of our decision on the variation request.
The time periods are set out in LDTA/4030.
WRA initiates variation
We may also vary an approval if we’re satisfied it’s necessary to ensure the approval relates only to restoration work required by a condition of an environmental permit or planning permission related to the site.
We must issue a written notice to you setting out the details of the variation.
The variation of an approval does not affect the restoration work carried out in accordance with the approval before it was varied.
LDTA/4160 Consequences of breaching requirements in relation to site restoration
The use of material for site restoration without our approval will not benefit from the relief.
Where approval is given, the relief is only available where it forms part of restoration work carried out in line with that approval, and meets all other requirements set out in:
- Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Act 2017 (LDTA)
- Tax Collection and Management (Wales) Act 2016 (TCMA)
For example, keeping and preserving records to support a correct and complete tax return.
We may make an assessment for tax where we believe there has been a loss of tax, specifically where relief in respect of a devolved tax has been claimed or given that is or has become excessive.
Furthermore, you may be liable to penalties under TCMA, such as inaccuracies in tax returns and failure to pay tax.